Subaru's Reputation

I wouldn’t call it slight. At least in common usage, 4WD tends to mean part-time systems which can’t be used on dry pavement, and AWD refers to a system which can work full time. There are some which are called “full time 4WD” which is basically just AWD.

thermal reactors were an offshoot of the air injection systems (Thermactor) on '70s-'80s american cars, which just pumped air into the exhaust manifolds. Thermal reactors just had a larger collecting plenum which kept the exhaust gases in the manifold a bit longer so the injected air had more time to oxidize the remaining HC and CO.

yep. even back then people were raising a fuss about the danger, but it was so much cheaper to use tetraethyl lead. Even a relatively tiny amount boosted octane significantly more than other additives.

I was not a fan of leaded gas and never used it in my BRAT (it was basically not available at the time I owned it), but the perverter seemed to me to be a pretty chickenshit paste-on way to clean up exhaust from the engine, and I really did not like all the SO[sub]2[/sub] the early ones spewed out.


I bought a used 2002 Forester for my wife many years ago, and she loved it. Then after a couple of years it developed a weird diesel-like sound that sounded ominous.

My mechanic listened to it and said “That’s not good. Is it still under warranty?” :frowning:

Since it had 59,500 miles on it, I imagined that there might be some kind of warranty that might end at 60K so I drove it to the dealer pronto.

It took a few weeks of them checking stuff and having a regional manager come and look at the evidence (I couldn’t provide receipts to prove oil changes <10K miles apart), but when all was said and done, they replaced the engine for free.

Then a few weeks later the new engine started leaking. There was something wrong with the casting, so they replaced that one for free too.

I’m afraid that other dealers would not cover such an expensive warranty repair on a used vehicle, without many more hoops to jump through, if at all.

As every gas-fueled car sold in civilization now has one, I suggest it’s established as the best available technology for reburning and catalyzing fossil fuel exhaust in a vehicle. (There might be other options for fixed fossil fuel sites like generation plants.) I’m sure any automaker would love to have you knock on the door with an alternative that works as well, or better, and isn’t tied to the supply of an extremely costly catalytic element.

(Your argument really seems to have fallen through a time warp from about 1978, when everyone was “fixing” their cars by knocking out the converter core.)

I love my 2005 Subaru Forester. It had exactly the options I wanted, and almost 10 years and close to 150,000 miles later, it is still reliable and comfortable. Next car I buy will be another Subaru Forester (although that won’t be for another couple of years).

If it’s so “chickenshit,” what better solution did you have?

My 96 Wagon gives me 2w Front wheel drive by inserting a fuse in a special little single fuse box in the right ( passenger side ) of the engine compartment

I set my usage by weather & season combinations.

I have thought of extending the circuit into the driver location & adding a switch there. :cool:

I remember that from some of my earlier models. I think it was intended for dolly towing. I don’t know if my '14 Forester.

It’s really just designed for two reasons, (1)diagnostic purposes. It allows you to eliminate part of the drive train. It’s kinda counter-intuitive in that it’s AWD, by default, when there is NO fuse in the slot. Adding a fuse take the rear wheels out of the equation, so the car becomes a front wheel drive car. (2) If you need to run the donut spare tire, Subaru recommends placing it on the rear, and install the fuse so it runs in FWD.

Still, it’s bad practice to revert to FWD. The car isn’t designed for extended driving in 2WD. And, in addition, supposedly there is almost zero fuel savings. Which is the only reason some people consider doing it.

That ‘fuse’ AFAIK is intended for things like mismatched tire size or AWD system malfunction. Not really something to just turn on or off, I don’t think there would be any advantage to it as all the driveline components still turn, just that the rear section is turning because the rear wheels are turning since the front wheels are powered. The only difference is you are routing the power to the rear through the road instead of the driveshaft, however unlike true FWD, where the rear wheels is all that really turns, you are also turning all of the AWD components.

I did remember it wasn’t supposed to be used for regular driving.

I do remember that GM just slapped on the thing to avoid having to change their engine design, while Subaru, Honda and Nissan managed to build cars that could pass without one well into the '80s. The perverter was a stop-gap, so that they could keep using the same engine designs without having to try to explore alternatives. We could have had hybrids and/or generally much more efficient vehicles by the '90s without that fall-back.

It was also criminal that leaded fuel ever was cheaper than unleaded.

It’s also not just that they’re cheap AWD cars, its that their AWD systems are substantially better than anything else in a non-luxury car based vehicle.

Most AWD cars and car-based SUVs use a transverse mounted drivetrain, which works really well in a FWD application but it’s difficult to add on a power split device for AWD. It also adds an extra 90 degree bend and so to reduce driveline drag most car-based AWD systems are either reactive part-time systems or normally only send a small percentage of the power to the rear wheels.

With the boxers Subaru uses though the engine is short enough that they can mount the engine and transaxle longitudally mostly ahead of the front wheels, which leaves plenty of room for the power split device and eliminates the 90 degree turn. That lets them run AWD systems that run close to 50/50 power distribution full time, which is way more stable and more capable than the kludged together AWD systems used on FWD-based cars and SUVS.

the only design that was able to go w/o a catalytic converter for a couple of years was the Honda CVCC. And even after converters were mandated, they clung to CVCC for way too long. The last couple of years of carbureted CVCC engines were a rat’s nest of failure-prone vacuum hoses. Don’t believe me? see here.

this is only your own conjecture. you’d do well to stop acting like it’s fact.

Fair enough. It is also a bit of a hijack.

My Subaru Legacy Outback wagon has performed fine in snow, but its real benefit to me is that it’s just the right blend of car and wagon - I can fit a full-size clothes washer in the back, yet it takes up no more space than a regular sedan. They are ubiquitous out here in the Pacific NW - when I got mine, I joked that I had to, since I was the only car owner on the block that didn’t have one yet.

You have been grossly misinformed if you think there are gas engine designs that could even approach modern emissions levels without a cat. Many things about early smog engines were clumsy adaptations allowing the use of existing designs, but the phenomenally sophisticated engines of today still rely on cats for a good part of emission reductions.